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SOCIAL    AND    POLITICAL    LIFE           165

always played mahjong, which is nearer to poker than to bridge.
In this philosophy of mahjong may be seen the essence of Chinese
individualism.

An illustration of Chinese individualism may be seen in the
organization of a Chinese newspaper. The Chinese run their
papers as they play their mahjong. I have seen Chinese daily
papers so edited as to require an editor-in-chief* whose only
business is to write editorials. The man in charge of domestic
news has his page, the man in charge of international cables has
his, and the man in charge of city news again has his own
ground. These four men handle their respective departments
like the four hands at a mahjong table, each trying to guess what
the others have got. Each tries to make up his set and throws
out the unwanted bamboo to the next man. If there is too
much domestic news, it can conveniently flow over (without
warning, as far as the reader is concerned) to the page for
city news, and if this again has too much copy, it can con-
veniently flow over to the murders and conflagrations. There
is no necessity for front-page make-up, no selection, no co-
ordination, no subordination. Each editor can retire at his
own good time. The scheme is simplicity itself. Moreover, both
the editors and the readers are born individualists. It is the
editor's business to publish the news, and the reader's business
to look for it. They do not interfere with one another. This is
the journalistic technique of some of the oldest, largest and
most popular daily papers in China to this day.

If you ask why there is no co-ordination, the answer is,
there's no social mind. For if the editor-in-chief tries to
initiate reforms and fire the city editor for obstruction, he will
run up against the family system. What does he mean by
interfering with other people's business? Does he mean to
throw the city editor out and break his rice-bowl, starving all
the people dependent upon him? And if the city editor's wife
is the proprietor's niece, can he throw him out? If the editor-
in-chief has any Chinese social consciousness, he will not
attempt such a thing, and if he is a raw American-returned
graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, he will soon
have to get out. Another man who knows Chinese social
ways will get in, the old scheme will go on working, the readers